Prepared by Dr. J.Julian Smith PhD
So, we got the start rolling with attention to detail in wheat management – here comes the essential piece, closing this plant up by giving it the necessary physiological resources and enjoying a solid harvest both in yield and grain quality terms.
Why is winter wheat different to spring wheat? Winter / fall seeded varieties are in the ground longer so with appropriate management can be a bigger yielder versus a spring seeded variety – makes sense. However, winter wheat can be managed for quality such as grain protein content and yield to equal spring varieties. Genetics are key and here comes vernalization – the need for certain wheat varieties to be exposed to lower temperatures during early leaf and tiller development in the fall, to switch to reproductive growth come spring. From a physiological perspective, thereafter we have a number of nurturing tasks, not least fertility.